Well, pretty darn soon if the truth be known! OK, now Jo's Mum and Dad are to join us for a few weeks in a few days so by my calculations we will run out about half way through their holiday. Right then, onto Skyscanner and cheapest flight to Siem Reap found via Bangkok for $88. booking.com and decent looking hotel, Koulen Summit, found for $65 per night so reckon 3 nights should do it. Flight back direct to Bangkok $70 so total of few hundred dollars for 4 days in Cambodia and another 30 day visa-on-arrival for Thailand.
We have really enjoyed our short break in Chiang Mai and feel re-charged and ready to go again and certainly will return here for a much longer stay at some time.
Again a very sublime existence here, could get used to this easily, but we also re-visited some of the more well known Wat's and sights in the old-city. There was the occasional down-pour of rain but there always seemed to be a handy coffee shop or bar nearby to accommodate us until it had passed.
Jo had decided it was time for a "do" and having been a hair dresser in a previous life wanted to do some research into a well reviewed place. She ferreted out a place called New York, New York in Nimman which even recommended to ask for someone called Milk, yes as in what cows give.
We called them up, asked for Milk and got an appointment the next day in the morning. They even called us back the next morning to confirm we could get there and as it was a short walk away set off 10 mins before the appointment. It was easy to find so I left Jo to the tender mercies of Milk and explored numerous coffee shops in the area which were many and varied, but all very good.
To wrap up this blog, Jo was very happy with her style and although cheap by Australian standards,not dirt cheap but the result and the products used were all first class.
The next few days were very pleasant thank-you with Jo and I falling into a routine of a morning light work-out in the gym followed by a refreshing dip and all this after a little lie in as we had no where to go and all day to get there. We had also discovered a small restaurant on the corner of our side street called, Smoothy Blues which was very handy to get a quick, cheap and very tasty meal from if we didn't feel like venturing too far afield.
If the mood took us we would also try to fit in another light work-out in the gym before tea as well.....very dedicated!
It has been a few years since our last visit to Chiang Mai and this time the visit is to be a fact-finding and exploration of the city as a possible long-term place to disappear to when time permits. Chiang Mai has developed a large reputation amongst the digital-nomad crowd in recent years as a chilled place with a plethora of coffee shops and shared work spaces to choose from.
It also has a growing reputation amongst the grey-nomad crowd as a chilled place with a plethora of coffee shops and cheap rentals to choose from. Both reputations are well founded as far as we could ascertain and we have definitely added Chiang Mai to our list of places to spend a longer time in.
Chiang Mai airport is only a short drive from basically anywhere in the city. We chose to Airbnb in an area known as Nimmanheamin or just Nimman will do, less than a 10 minute tuk-tuk ride from the Old City walls. The apartment was in a complex called The Nimmana in Soi 6, enough off the main road to be quiet but an easy walk to everything.
It was a 1 bedroom condo, quite spacious and modern with a small balcony overlooking the internal courtyard which held the decent sized swimming pool and garden area. The temperature difference to Bangkok was a welcome relief so we set off to explore the immediate area.
We found the main shopping mall, Maya Mall, about a 10 min walk away and was very pleasantly surprised by the great food court in the basement. Huge variety of food, vego, vegan to carnivore tastes and very reasonably priced so we grabbed enough for tea and headed back as it was nearly that time anyway.
Happy to report no more escaping veneers and after what was a much shorter visit to the dentist than I had expected all the new additions were lined up and, hopefully, firmly in place. We were very happy with the standard of work as well as the price compared to Australia and am already planning the next and last needed work for this lifetime anyway on our next visit to Bangkok.
We are now planning a short trip to Chiang Mai in the next few days for a change of scene and to reacquaint ourselves with the second largest but sooo much smaller city in Thailand.
The last few days have just been filled in by chilling and watching the view from our window of the Chao Phraya River...very relaxing. I suppose the highlight was on Saturday night, as a treat, we frequented the Ibis Hotel next to our building to sample their food and splashed out on a pizza. Thin, crispy crust and although I thought I was being cautious and not using the temporary veneered teeth all of a sudden one popped off. It was about 6:00 PM and thought that Thantakit might still be open so gave them a call to advise of the dilemma. They promised to call me back with a solution and within 10 minutes I had an appointment at their other clinic in Pratunam tomorrow at 12:00 and they had sent me the directions to show the taxi driver.
A short ride the next day saw me seated in the chair with a dentist glueing my veneer back on in 5 mins. We were just across from The Platinum Mall so decided. to have a look and maybe get some lunch there. The Platinum is not one of the huge, glitzy shopping malls usually associated with tourists but a huge un-glitzy with mostly locals doing there shopping. Every level is dedicated to a particular line, like kids clothing, mens, womens etc and the stores are very small but the prices are as well.
We weren't there for shopping, just eating so made our way to the food court level, where by observation, realised that you first have to go to one of the voucher desks where you decide how much you want to spend on food and then get a swipe card loaded with that amount of money. Most of the stalls don't handle cash so after you over your food they will swipe your card which deducts the cost of the food from your balance. We got some spring rolls and a couple of Roti which all but used up our credit so didn't bother going to one of the refund desks to cash in the remaining balance. Bit of a system but I suppose if you went there frequently might be useful.
Roti's are soft but another veneer popped off on the other side so, back to the dentist and another glueing. Only 2 days until permanent one's will be fitted so might be on soup until then.
We had both been promising ourselves to get our long suffering teeth a long deserved overhaul and after extensive research had narrowed it down to Thantakit Dental. Crunch time, so to speak, had arrived and we had been picked up by their driver and taken to their clinic in Phetchaburi where we filled out forms had our passports photocopied and waited for about 30 minutes before being called to our destiny.
The clinic was very swish and modern and before I knew it had numerous hi-tech x-rays taken of my teeth and was seated in the chair talking to the dentist about what needed to be done and what could be done. She had also taken digital pics of my teeth and was able to show me what condition they were in, much to my embarrassment, and how to rectify years of neglect. In my case as a youngster I had been prescribed large doses of Tetracycline which is a broad spectrum antibiotic which does a great job of killing off bugs but also turns forming teeth and bones a lovely shade of yellow. No usual UV or bleaching can make this change as the colour is right through the tooth so the only option is a crown or veneers.
In my case a set of 4 veneers and two crowns was decided as the best antidote as well as a couple of other crowns and a bridge thrown in as well. Being used to Australian dentists where anything beyond a clean and maybe one filling would take a few appointments spread out over a month or so before I knew it I was laid back with a cover over my eyes and numerous needles and implements hanging out of my mouth.
I have got to say that during the whole 4 hours I sat in that chair I never felt the slightest pain, not even from the numbing needles. It was however a marathon for both me and the very slightly built dentist as she called half-time to give me a rest and stretch after a couple of hours. By 4:30 I had some number of temporary veneers, crowns and a bridge in situ and was in a taxi on our way back to the unit.
Jo also had a mouth full of plastic teeth and was amazed at how much work could be undertaken in such a short time. We were both surprised at how quick the anaesthetic wore off as we were used to numb lips and drooling like fools for some hours after this sort of treatment.
By now we had decided we should re-establish our relationship with the gym and pool so descended to that level to have a pre work-out viewing. The gym was as we remembered, quite sufficient for our needs then proceeded to the pool area. It was here things went a little pear-shaped as the door to the pool area was locked with a notice about repairs being underway. We both stared at the notice with puzzled and unbelieving looks of WTF...surely this must be just for the day but no.... it appears the pool will be closed until further notice!
Mmmm....this puts a bit of a downer on the whole show. Not that we are poolside loungers but the thought of a light exercise bout followed by a refreshing dip was quite enticing and that was our plan for the next 2 weeks.
We retired to our "eyrie" to contemplate the possibilities.
Ok, we can try to cancel our extension here and go back to the "wardrobe" but that wasn't too attractive. To give us the best chance of a cancellation without losing too much cash we messaged our host to report our disappointment about not being informed of the pool closure. To her credit she agreed to refund our money which then set us the task of finding alternate accomodation.
Tomorrow we are both to have an appointment with Thantakit Dental to get an idea of what dental work we can fit in while in Bangkok so will deal with alternate accomodation in the next few days.
Great night's sleep and we were both happy just to chill and spent the day very happily enjoying the view and eating, drinking and napping the day away. By late afternoon we had decided to extend our stay by another week before it got snapped up on us.
Slept well with our "imported from Darwin mattress topper" installed on the standard Asian mattress and ventured downstairs to survey the property for future reference as we have decided that we can at least use this as a pied-à-terre. We had a late breakfast at the on-site restaurant which was actually very good and, as expected, well priced being mainly being used by locals.
We had to wait until just after lunch to move to the next place so spent a little time separating our gear into "must have' and "maybe not" varieties and was able to leave our larger suitcase in our "walk-in wardrobe". We were able to hail a taxi in no time and were able to direct the driver to the Baan Sathorn building where we had so enjoyed our last stay a few years ago.
The uniformed doorman was a newer, younger version but his salute was just as snappy and we collected our swipe card from the letter box next to the lobby area. This time we were on a lower level, floor 17, but the views from both the living and bedroom were just as good being right next to the Chao Phraya River with no obstructions. The ever present rice barges forged their way passed with long-tail boats buzzing around them and the day tripper tourist ferries passed way below us as we sat smug and comfortable in our eagle's nest above.
The Sena Fest shopping mall was just across the road to stock upon the usual needs for survival and the Bangkok Cafe was just below for good, tasty, cheap food. We were where we wanted to be at last.